EGO STATES – Basics (Part 3)


PREVIOUS : Ego States – Basics #2




Our Adult voice provides the ability to form a Narrative Identity, which is the internal & progressive story of the Self we develop to make sense out of our life.
Trauma interferes with this integrative capacity, causing ES to become excluded, disorganizing the Self. The child’s experience of abusive caregivers is absorbed in a series of toxic Parent / Child ego states.

Berne suggested that shutting out one or more of their ES is a serious issue since the person suffering from P.A. or C. exclusion will have behavioral problems. EXP : a mother unconsciously excludes her Child ES because she’s overly-responsible, looking after every one else’s needs – except her own.

a. Missing Inner PARENT: When Child bleeds into A. & P. is unavailable, the person has a weak conscience, missing ready-made rules about how the world works. They do whatever they want with little or no regard for others, making up their own rules in every situation.
They’re good at using intuition to sense what’s going on around them, while acting irresponsibly, without conscience. They’re prone to self-destructive behavior in the pursuit of self-gratification.
EXP : “Con Merchants”, politicians, mafia bosses…

b. Missing Inner CHILD: When Parent contaminates Adult & C. is unavailable, the person has shut out memories of childhood, most likely having been victims of early severe trauma. They don’t see things from different points of view or let themself get close to anyone, rarely expressing emotions, being unaware most of the time of how they feel.
They can’t ‘let go’ to be spontaneous or have fun, are rigid & controlling with little sense of humor, taking themself & everything else too seriously, must always be ‘right’, be a know-it-all….

c. Missing Inner ADULT: When A. is unavailable completely, there’s no ‘reality’ guide. It’s the most disabling of the 4 types of exclusion, so the person will be confused, disoriented, switching between Parent & Child ego states. At it’s extreme they may be narcissistic &/or paranoid, acting in bizarre ways, obsessed with the past or focused the future. Possibly diagnosed as bi-polar or psychotic.

🔴 ACoAs – in it’s ‘milder’ form this version is less psychologically severe (NON-psychopathic) because the ‘absent’ Adult ES seems to be ‘on’ while almost totally unavailable to the person for themself.

HINT – a limited version of the AES is compulsively employed on behalf of others as Caretaker / Rescuer, in their work & career life, driven by the FALSE self. These ACoAs can be competent, even obsessive – as long as their intelligence & skills are used to benefit someone or something else. The price is being racked with anxiety, terrified they’ll be found out to be ‘frauds’, no matter how well they do their job!

AND, when ACoAs are able to successfully ‘take care of business’ – often in a crisis at work or in their family – it’s usually short-term, & then they collapse back into the terrified Child ES. This is very likely because the activity, no matter how valid – is coming from the person’s teen-age self, not an actual adult.

ALSO, even with eduction, skills & accomplishments, we know that rescue-helping / caretaking can not be generated by a healthy, fully-functioning AES because it’s riddled with cognitive distortions (CDs) which make many of our choices ineffective or self-harming.

SO, since the Adult ES functions ‘nakedly’ (not flowing from the True Self), the PigP & WIC are still very active. They’re just relegated to the person’s subconscious (Jung’s “Shadow”), operating strongly in the form of cruel self-talk, anxiety & second-guessing.

d. Missing BOTH Parent & Child, so only ADULT is available
⬅️ This is a classic state typical of ACoA Doers, where the person has thoroughly silenced the Critical Parent voice and the needy Wounded Child (-AC) early in life – to cope with continual overwhelming trauma.

They’re addicted to “living in their head”, assuming they’re being rational, trying to explain everything with logic – but their reality is full of holes because of CDs. They substitute Do-ing for BE-ing, keeping frantically busy to ignore the PigP & not have to feel accumulated painful emotions.

NEXT : ES- Basics #4

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